russian ammo

There has been a concern that President Obama might use the crisis in Crimea as an excuse (“never let a good crisis go to waste”) to shut down the import of sporting firearms and ammunition from Ukraine and Russia.

Some are worried that a line in an executive order (in bold, below) issued today targeting Russian and Ukrainian politicians could be a ban (PDF):

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America,
hereby expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660 of March 6, 2014, finding that the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine — including the recent deployment of Russian
Federation military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine — undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty,
and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, and thereby constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the
possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and

(ii) persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(A) to be an official of the Government of the Russian Federation;
(B) to operate in the arms or related materiel sector in the Russian Federation;
(C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of,
directly or indirectly:
(1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or
(2) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this
order; or
(D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological
support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(1) a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation; or
(2) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

The rest of the text can be found at the link above if you desire to read it all.

I don’t see this applying to the civilian small arms being exported by Russian or Ukrainian companies to the U.S. market, nor to Russian or Ukrainian ammunition companies, but instead appears to be an attempt to make life uncomfortable for a handful of specific politicians:

As the White House reported March 17, the list includes presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, Head of State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky, Head of Federation Council’s Committee for constitutional legislation Andrei Klishas, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Chair of the Duma committee for family, women and children affairs Yelena Mizulina, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, Crimean State Council Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Their assets in the US will be frozen, and Americans will be banned from getting into business contacts with the officials on the list.

Apart from that, a new executive order of the US president has been adopted. This order forms the basis of sanctions against the aforementioned persons. In addition, the document allows introducing punitive measures against persons and organizations serving the interests of Russia’s military industry, as well as providing material support to people included in the black list.

The only way it appears that this might impact the U.S. market is if these specific individuals are owners or company officers of major arms and ammunition companies.